NASA to launch satellite in search of new worlds

NASA to launch satellite in search of new worlds

According to SpaceX, the launch was delayed due to unspecified problems in the rocket's guidance control system and the Falcon 9 rocket along with the NASA telescope is now set for a launch on Wednesday.

"But the data on all these planets is interesting, because they help us form a picture of how planetary systems form and evolve".

NASA emphasized that the satellite, which is a little smaller than a subcompact auto, was in "excellent health and remains ready for launch" from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The postponement was announced about two hours before the planned blast off from a Nasa launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

TESS uses the same method as Kepler for finding potential planets, by tracking the dimming of light when a celestial body passes in front of a star.

Surveying almost the entire sky, the minimum two-year mission expects to find some 20,000 so-called exoplanets around nearby, bright stars, ranging from rocky Earth-size planets to gas giants.

TESS is the successor of NASA's Kepler Space Telescope and it is created to scan the sky for exoplanets within 300 light-years of Earth.

"Think of it as a phone book; you'll be able to look up the ones that interest you", said Sara Seager from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which leads the Tess project.

"That is about 20 times what the Kepler mission was able to detect".

The Tess satellite will scan nearly the entire sky, staring at the brightest, closest stars in an effort to find any planets that might be encircling them.

Tess will build a catalogue of nearby, bright stars and their planets that other telescopes can then follow up.

"One of the many fantastic things that Kepler told us is that planets are everywhere and there are all kinds of planets out there".

"TESS is the initial step", said Stephen Rinehart, TESS venture researcher at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center.

Once launched, scientists expect the satellite, which will observe over 85 percent of the sky, to catalog thousands of potential planets.

Just a couple of decades ago, the notion of finding habitable planets - or any planets at all - was a mere fantasy, said Paul Hertz, astrophysics division director at Nasa.

"TESS is going to dramatically increase the number of planets that we have to study", said Ricker.

With Kepler running low on fuel and nearing the finish of its life, TESS means to get the hunt while centering nearer, on planets handfuls to several light years away.

It might be a long time before cosmologists know regardless of whether life exists somewhere else.

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